Time Alone, Chosen or Not, Can be a Chance to Hit the Reset Button

Solitude has become a topic of fascination in modern Western societies because we believe it is a lost art – often craved, yet so seldom found. It might seem as if we ought to walk away from society completely to find peaceful moments for ourselves. Yet there is a quote I really like from the book Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World (2017) by the Canadian journalist Michael Harris:

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Aeon's picture

Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture. Since September 2012 they have been publishing some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. They ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society, and the arts. Aeon was founded in London by Paul and Brigid Hains. It now has offices in London, Melbourne, and New York. Aeon is a not-for-profit and operated by Aeon Media Group Ltd., committed to big ideas, serious enquiry, and a humane worldview. That’s it.

Before You Can Be With Others First Learn to Be Alone

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of deep crime … He is the man of the crowd.’

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About The Author

Aeon's picture

Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture. Since September 2012 they have been publishing some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. They ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society, and the arts. Aeon was founded in London by Paul and Brigid Hains. It now has offices in London, Melbourne, and New York. Aeon is a not-for-profit and operated by Aeon Media Group Ltd., committed to big ideas, serious enquiry, and a humane worldview. That’s it.

Getting Through Together, Apart

A lot has changed in the last days.

I am getting more and more hopeful for humanity in some ways. Seeing yoga instructors doing free courses online, meditation apps being given away for free and gym teachers going on Instagram once a day to help parents home school their kids... love and empathy are all around us. Things are hard right now but I am heartened by how many people have decided to use their skills and passions to remind us we are together and together we are much stronger.

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About The Author

Nora Livingstone's picture

Nora Livingstone is the Co-Founder and CEO of Animal Experience International, a B Corp that matches animal lovers with beneficial and adventurous volunteer experiences around the world. She has volunteered with animals in more than 25 countries, including Croatia, Mongolia, Sierra Leone, and Guatemala. Nora holds a double major from Trent University in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology and holds internationally recognized certifications for guiding, leadership, crisis intervention, and deployment during natural disasters. She carries a tiny plastic horse and stuffed mouse with her every time she travels.
http://www.animalexperienceinternational.com/
https://twitter.com/animal_intl
http://instagram.com/animalinternational/
https://www.facebook.com/animalexperienceinternational
 

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A man's back as he looks out across a lake and forest
07/16/2020
Solitude has become a topic of fascination in modern Western societies because we believe it is a lost art – often craved, yet so seldom found. It might seem as if we ought to walk away from society... read more
Man sitting on ground facing sunset
04/03/2020
In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing... read more
Woman lying in fetal position with iPad tablet
03/24/2020
A lot has changed in the last days. I am getting more and more hopeful for humanity in some ways. Seeing yoga instructors doing free courses online, meditation apps being given away for free... read more
A man's back as he looks out across a lake and forest
07/16/2020
Solitude has become a topic of fascination in modern Western societies because we believe it is a lost art – often craved, yet so seldom found. It might seem as if we ought to walk away from society... read more
Man sitting on ground facing sunset
04/03/2020
In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing... read more
Woman lying in fetal position with iPad tablet
03/24/2020
A lot has changed in the last days. I am getting more and more hopeful for humanity in some ways. Seeing yoga instructors doing free courses online, meditation apps being given away for free... read more